Department header
Bewildering Stories

Channie Greenberg, A Grand Sociology Lesson


A Grand Sociology Lesson
Author: Channie Greenberg
Publisher: Lit Fest Press/Festival of Language
Date: September 10, 2016
Length: 152 pp.
ISBN: 1943170193; 978-1943170197

About the collection:

Critical analyses of social strata, of public institutions, of laws, and of media, help folks get the gist of how they can create additional goodness in their lives while suffering less. Clicked up a notch, this type of qualitative assessment, when put to verse, can capture the ecstasy of cultural creation, the pain of interpersonal failure, and the disharmony of negotiated vagueness.

A Grand Sociology Lesson articulates social experience. This assemblage mouths off about our shiny, waterproof practices as well as about our dull, unlaundered understandings. Accordingly, like the best of herbal bitters and like the least of conventional chemotherapy, A Grand Sociology Lesson is, in places, an uncomfortable read.

Yet, it is this book's irritating character that is its empowerment. Candy-coated troches, ornamental rhetorical doggerel, and good-tasting lessons in ethics fail to heal us of our less than desirable communal habits. Repurposing our words, though, can preserve us when we stumble with love, with loss, or with indecision. Whereas it doesn't matter how we review our experimentations with oak leaves, with dry ice, with nail liquor, or with baseball caps' orientation, it makes a great deal of difference how we prod our economic, our ethnic, and our psychological trials.

To wit, A Grand Sociology Lesson pokes without compunction. Let apologia remain the province of stout elitists, of persons whom appropriate little concern for the others' well-being. The rest of us must collectively grapple, poorly, or otherwise, with: rape, child abuse, the marginalization of elders, unemployment, debt, alcoholism, social exclusivity, housing shortages, insufficient medical care, and much more. Our discourse needs to get beyond worthless rodomontades. A Grand Sociology Lesson shows us that we ought to verbally nod at, whisper about, beep through expletives relevant to, and otherwise take possession of our commonplace affairs.

Montgolfier Balloons

Hot air vessels, in different circumstances, aeronautics' drays,
Wrap for years in fables, their short sheets draping sofas.
Balloons often get structured from gilded, mud-covered plinths.

All but enlightened enthusiasts are wont to stuff dreams, trash bags,
Rags into their orifices, rant political nonsense, make privileged
Foreclosures, deny that nonpareilles and surfines remain valuable.

Other folk spliflicate; dumbfoundedly, even violently,
Acquire a taste for described suffering, water-absorbent gels,
Handmade refrigerator pictures, the sap of several species.

Perhaps, some would-be partners for urbane entrepreneurs,
Convergent media's corporate potentates, especially in Gotham,
Purport to fill all available nasolabial folds with superglue.

Given their serious fiduciary problems, though, integrated with larger foibles,
Those brutes rough out petulant, peevish, sadly fretful texts, get drunk,
Repeatedly “misunderstand” how to cope, culturally, at festivals.

Decadent individuals continue on loath to fly thermal airships.
They reject Kongming lanterns in favor of audio-visual stimulation,
Prefer heavy petitioning to loosening polyurethane sealers.

Whether wrong, immoral, or illegal, comparable starbursts of protective coatings,
Boosters' magneto-optic properties aside, provide for parachute vents, woven
Rattan, liquid propane, basket lunches, and altimeters formed by machine-driven crafting.

Like small children singing prayers for friends before insisting that parents allow
Long distance phone calls to camp buddies, overnight marshmallow feasts, hedgehog
Pets, pilots, FAA or not, they experience not-so-minute amounts of corporeal dissonance.

Areal errors, like stray cats, termites, problematic carpenters, telemarketers,
Permeate envelopes, bring greatness begging Wall Street, technique, thread, stitch,
Cost maintenance crews long minutes arguing sponsors ignorant of paste.

When dilemmas, otherwise, occur postpradinally, yearnings for pelage satiations,
No matter how tetchy their instigators, once more becomes the collective's norm.
After all, social chitter-chatter can't deter birds, nonstop trips, liftoff, ethereal flight.

Labile Lady

The sky, star-paved, watches me.
That vast, avuncular counselor sees
My saturnine coloring, my woad-colored countenance,
Surmises a quaalude commercial on two legs.

Even as I stumble to bruise, she snickers.
Along with her gastropub whores, laughing
Through barking vocals, those counter-melody mavens
Pierce my salacious “sophistication.”

Accordingly, heaven spins, spits.
Celestial clarity, starlit understanding fogs
No piker ill with misery, no stingy wage maker
Dares moot rhetoric forward.

Hence, my most ineffable words produce.
Little such spangled magic or tinseled charm brings
Exogenous behaviors, externalized acts
The cosmos quells approbation openly.

Organics' Revelations

Organics reveal too much, expose poor managers, uncover bare claims,
Reveal more than hint about fortunes embedded in mimetic happenstance.

Such rascals harbor, as well, corporate mentations, shelter quixotic notions,
Regard, fondly, fish, fowl, farm-raised flora, espouse sibyl diatribes concerning lettuce.

Puerile to a fault, those sops, most visions clotted by government rubrics, can't
Help but evolve into altrical administrators, inept clerks, kept mistresses of oil barons.

In contrast, children's lunchboxes remain a special sort of juvenile hedonism,
Also reason to campaign for increased wages, shiny cars, puppies, plus new computers.

No one's wiser from plastic ware when finite nutrition meets federal standards,
Processed foodstuffs seem good enough for all sorts of mammon save wild politicians.

Author’s note: The collection contains over ninety poems, ten of which appeared in Bewildering Stories between 2010 and 2013.

Copyright © 2016 by Channie Greenberg

Home Page